Joint Posts and Instant Messenger RP

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Sure, SotE is a forum-based RPG, but that doesn't mean that's the only way to RP on SotE! In fact, SotE fully encourages joint posts and instant messenger RP as part of forum RP!

So what are these things?

Joint Posts

Joint posts are where two (or more) RPers get together to work on the same post cooperatively before posting it as a single post to the forum. Many RPers enjoy doing these for scenes that require a lot of back-and-forth dialogue, or for a fast-paced action scene that they don't want to break up into separate posts. (Because sometimes, that can get awkward.) Methods of writing joint posts include using Google Docs, writing the post in a Word document and passing it back and forth, or just working it out in IMs piece by piece.

Here's an example of a joint post that was written for Remnants of the Earth:

Rina's character, Finaa, dialed Rhi-Rhi's character, Gabriel, up on the phone, so they played the phone conversation out via IM and then she worked the conversation into her post. Since Gabriel wasn't needed for a huge role in that post, it didn't really require separate posts, but it was still something to give that post a little color!

Instant Messenger RP

Then there's good ol' IM RP! IM RP doesn't have to be separate from forum RP at all. In fact, It can be used as a fun part of forum RP. Many RPers enjoy post volleying, so hey! This is perfect for them! IM RP is also perfect for conversation scenes because you can really get a nice back and forth dialogue exchange.

But first, since many people have different ideas of what IM RP is, some terminology!

There are two main kinds of IM RP.

  • Silly crack IM RP for fun and giggles
This is the kind you do just to goof off. It's crack for shits and giggles and isn't really intended for the forum or meant to become canon. Sometimes, players even use it as a tool for figuring out new characters, bouncing them off of others and getting a feel for them, or for seeing how two characters get along before playing them in a thread. Either way, what happens there, stays there, and has no affect on the game. It's like Vegas.

The most common way to format that is script format, where asterisks are usually used for actions. Some people even use emoticons! Present tense is really common for this style of play. So it looks like:

Billy: Yo! Whassap mah dawg? *slings an arm around Mandy's shoulders*
Mandy: What the hell, Billy? Dx *shoves him off*

It's just for fun and giggles!

  • IM RP intended to be posted to the forum and counted as game canon
These posts aren't written like the crack version. They're written in the same way you would write a normal post. So on SotE, they would be written in third person past tense, with proper punctuation.

The difference between this and forum RP is that it is faster a lot of the time. You can churn through threads fast while staying completely wrapped up in your character's mindset, so posting just flows; a thread that might have taken weeks can be burned through in a couple days. You can also get a really natural kind of pacing, especially where conversations are concerned. You can achieve the same effect just replying right on the forum (and no one should be afraid of posting one-liners when they fit!), but the pacing and immediacy makes it easy to stay completely in character and completely in the scene.

It's especially awesome for dialogue-heavy scenes. Because, really, if two characters are having a casual conversation, you really don't need 300+ words per reply!

Sure, not everyone likes IM RP and some people are intimidated by the fast pace, but it's very, very useful for many people, and very fun! Besides, you don't have to be super speedy to IM RP. Just talk to your RP partners. Most will understand and be patient with you. Either way, IM RP doesn't have to be separate from forum RP; the two mediums can blend together beautifully.

Some examples of what it looks like (and what kind of natural dialogue exchanges you can get going) are:

This is an example of how IM RP can blend with forum RP. The posts before that one had all been regular forum posts, but then Rina and Rhi-Rhi decided to play out a chunk of conversation in MSN. One-liners galore! But the focus was on their conversation and the sort of banter they got between those characters couldn't have really been achieved with longer posts. Besides, people don't really stop to do much introspecting when they're talking!
More regular forum posts mixed with IM posts and lots of banter! Regular posts and IM posts can be combined just fine in the same thread!

So many forum RPers view forum RP and IM RP as two completely separate things that Shalt Never Intersect, but that doesn't have to be the case at all! IM RP and forum RP are both fun, so why not combine them?

All you have to do if you're interested in trying it out is poke your thread partner(s) and ask if they want to give it a whirl. When you're done, just clean up the log and post it to your thread!